Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The Temple is Our Goal!
This week was wonderful as we ended with two people getting baptized! One is a 14 year old daughter of a less active. She's really solid and has been completely fellowshipped by the Young Women in the ward. We're so grateful for their examples and spirituality. We hope that Bi jun's example will also influence her less active mom, and her dad (who we have invited several times to come with her to church/to her baptism... he hasn't come, YET!) She has a sweet testimony of the Book of Mormon. "It answers the questions in my heart," she says. We love her so much!
Our other precious recent convert completed a part member family. Wang jie mei has been carefully prepared by the example of her husband, the coming of a new baby into their home, and the members, particularly the relief society president. As soon as we started meeting with her she kept all her commitments and started praying with her 5 year old son. Now they enjoy regular family prayer and scripture study. It's the cutest thing to watch their family pray together. The gospel blesses families! They have a strong desire to be sealed in the temple in a year. I'm so jealous that Sister GIbson gets to go with them near the end of her mission. I keep thinking about all my most recent converts who are planning on going next July-November, and I want SO badly to be able to go with them, but I'd have to make several trips back, unless I just want to come back and be an English teacher for the summer, just for the purpose of being here for my recent convert's Endowments, haha :) Who knows. But the most important thing is that they go whether I'm here or not. It's such a beautiful thing to see them all working towards their temple goals.
Our recent convert Zhou jie mei has been working like mad on her family history, originally so she could take some names to the temple yesterday for the stake temple trip. Unfortunately because she's such a new member and there have been some problems with her account, she couldn't get the names printed in time to make the trip. She was really sad when she told us and I tried to encourage to go anyway, that she could do baptisms for other people besides her family who had passed away, but she said, "No, I want so badly to take my own family names to the temple. I'll just keep working so I can take even more to the Temple next month." I was so touched by her faith, diligence, and intense desire to help her whole family be able to receive the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and especially by her testimony of the importance of the temple. It really should be and is the focus of all we do. A few weeks ago in Sacrament Meeting the Taipei Temple President and his wife came to speak in one of our wards and his wife made the comment that the straight and narrow road is from home, to church, to the temple, to the Celestial Kingdom. I really like that purpose and focus.
We've also been working with a miracle less active who hasn't come to church for 10 years but met missionaries on the street and decided she wanted to come back. She also has a new baby and a really sweet husband who has met with missionaries before but never got baptized because he wasn't able to quit smoking. One day we were visiting Wu jie mei when her husband came home so we got to talking about the temple. I didn't know why, but that morning on the way to their house I had been singing "I Love to See the Temple" and when we started talking about the temple with them, I knew why. I shared my experience of singing it on my bike that morning and then asked if I could share the lyrics. Sister Gibson whispered the Engish words to me as I translated the lyrics for them the best I could, and the Spirit was so incredibly strong the whole time. When I finished I bore my testimony, and then the husband asked what the requirements were to enter the Temple. His gaze was rivited the whole time as I explained that you must be baptized and keep the commandments. I've never felt so strongly the power of the Spirit bearing witness of the Temple. It was a really special experience and we felt as Sister Gibson and I were talking afterwards that he would eventually come around. :)
Thanks, Dad, for reminding me that your anniversary this week is not just of you and mom getting married, it's the anniversary of the start of our eternal family. I really am so incredibly grateful for the blessings of the temple, for the hope and blessing of a temple marriage, and for the covenants the Lord makes with the faithful so we can receive His power and strength to overcome the challenges in mortality and safely return to His presence. The gospel is so perfect and so beautiful. I'm so grateful I get to help people come unto Christ and experience the fullness of life that comes from living the restored gospel for themselves. I know it's true with all my heart :)
I love you all so much!